Sunday, October 20, 2013

Update from October 20, 2013

Time is seriously flying by here. I can’t believe another week has come and gone. This week started as a typical Monday, which consists of school 7:30am-11:30am, then home for lunch and then James and I go to a weekly meeting with Kim and Rick while our kids stay here with mercy. This week our meeting was great!! We each discussed what God has been saying to us in our personal devotions and where we feel the ministry going. I love how God has us all on the same page. Rick gave James and me some awesome advice in how to deal with the people here and some ways to reach out and lead even more effectively than what’s already being done. After our meeting we came straight home, got the kids some sandwiches and apples and headed out to church. We a 5:30pm meeting with the ministry team there and then a 7:00pm meeting involving all the pastors. I love Mondays but man are they full.

Tuesday was a school holiday so this week we went to this place called Bamboo Falls. It’s a beautiful swimming area and when we were there we met a family from New York and Brazil. Daniel said, ‘Look mom, white people!!” White people are very uncommon here and I have to admit, it was nice to have a conversation in English while out and about. At the falls there are 15 ft. cliffs you can jump off of. Daniel led me up there and he and I made our first jump!! I absolutely love this kind of stuff but just a regular jump is not thrilling enough for me, so I climbed up again and then did a back flip off the cliff!! What a rush!! Everyone there watching was either videoing or screaming! The next time I went to do it I slipped on the way up but caught myself with a tree. I have a pretty bruised up leg and a busted eardrum from jumping, but I will say it was worth it. Daniel and I could have stayed there all day, but after our picnic lunch Sam and Lydia were pretty tired. So after dropping off a few people who needed rides we headed home for a peaceful Tuesday evening alone. Those evenings are rare and cherished. I, however, was in a lot of pain from my ear so my night was restless.

Wednesday, I did not stay to teach because any noise at all killed my ear. I got an antibiotic from “Dr. Kim” and began taking that immediately. So, instead of school, I ran errands with James and Samuel in Caticlan. It was a nice break from the classroom! After we picked up the kids we came home for lunch and naps. I had begun feeling a little off, but not sure what it was. By that evening I was not able to leave the potty or hear a thing. I was physically under major attack. Also this day we discovered two places of cellulitis on Daniel’s legs and James had a rash covering his back and arms. More yuck. James and the older two went to church and Sam and I stayed behind with Sister Anna here to help me out. James called and said he forgot the candy and crayons so when I took those to him Lydia came back with me! That night we had to squeeze Daniels boils and it was terrible. Wednesday was rough. Oh, I went to the dr Wednesday and found out I had e coli and/or an amoeba. That was the bad feeling and I got more meds. That also explained the complete exhaustion I had been feeling because my body wasn’t getting any nutrients.

Thursday, I stayed home, very sick and we kept the kids home too. WE needed to keep an eye on Daniels legs, mainly keep them clean and we were all just wiped out. Thursday was pretty quiet except that evening we went to the market for the food for our Friday feeding. As of Thursday I still could not keep down food or water. This is when I finally let my family know just how sick I was, and the prayers started. I love so much that one word to my sister and she’s calling out for prayers. It encourages us so much to look at emails and Facebook and see so much support. This type of ministry is very hard. I know there are harder places to serve, but I feel that anytime you are stripped of all your comforts and normal ways of living, it is just hard. I have been reading more and more about the disciples and Paul. They had no place they called home. They followed Jesus, or His leading, into the most uncomfortable places, even unto death. But, they were sold out, nothing would stop them. I pray to have this sort of courage and strength throughout my days of serving the Lord.

Friday the kids went to school and I stayed home. I thought I could get out and do some stuff but nope, I was put on strict bed rest by my hubby. I’m glad he did that because I was never going to heal unless I rested. On Friday afternoon the kids had rehearsal at school for a dance routine they are doing in the children’s parade on the 25th. Daniel is dressing up in the typical male Filipino garments and Lydia is wearing here American flag stuff! So after their rehearsal it was time for the feeding here at our house. Thank God for Sister Anna and Mercy because they cooked everything. WE had pancit. It’s like thin rice noodles with carrots, chicken, cabbage and whatever else you want to add. We had around 25 kids and 10 parents and we had tons of food left over. We used the extra food for the feeding the next morning. Because we have a fridge, we can keep the food here and then heat it for the next day. Most people here do not have a fridge so you eat what is made or give it away. I’m so thankful for the 2nd Baptist SS Class who are supporting our Friday feedings. You are touching lives and you don’t even know them. Thank you for helping us. On that note, we have been so blessed by your continued giving. You, as our friends and family, have no idea how blessed we are to have you guys in our corner. It’s amazing how a need with arise and we will check PayPal or modern day, and someone has donated just that amount. THANK YOU for being obedient when the Lord lays that on your heart. Also, I was supposed to have the girl orphans come spend this night with us but because I was still feeling bad I had to cancel. I feel super bad for that, but we will try again this Friday. The boys want to come stay every day and I want to let them, but there are some legal grounds to follow first.

Saturdays are so super busy for us. I thought I was feeling much better so I headed out to the first feeding. This is the one where we cross the river. Normally the river is pretty shallow but with the recent heavy rains it was up to my knees so this meant we had to carry kids across as well as the food and supplies. Needless to say after the feeding I was exhausted. There were only about 15 kids at the feeding but we have the feedings rain or shine and it was raining. WE met in the grandmother’s house. The families live near each other here and she is the grandmother for that area. Pretty sure most of the kids are her grandchildren or at least family in one way or another. When we got back here, soaking wet, I went up to lie down for a few minutes and the next thing I knew I woke up to a quiet house. This meant James and the kids, along with Sister Anna and tin, went to the next feeding. I got up and made the cookie dough for my cookies I was taking to a church opening and then laid back down. When James and the kids got back I headed to rick and Kim’s to bake and I took another load to a feeding here near our house. Daniel stayed with Sister Anna at the feeding and Lydia went with me to bake. Sam was at home with James napping. After I finished baking 12 dozen cookies we headed back home and made a quick market run. Sister Anna needed some things and so did we. I pretty much know my way around the market now and the prices to shoot for. They’ve seen us enough that they know we are not just tourists so they don’t try to mark prices up. Daniel was shopping with Sister Anna and they got a toy for Daniel, Lydia, and Samuel. I told her she is spoiling my kids, but according to her that is Auntie Anna’s job. I love that my kids are so loved here. We are too, but when you love my kids, that’s all I need.

Sunday, today, another busy day. WE went to pastor Leo and Sister Anna’s church today. They had the last service in their old church, preached by Pastor Rick and after that we attended the ribbon cutting ceremony at their new church. It is located up the hill from the other one and after church we all carried chairs and filed up there. It was crowded, hot, and one of the most beautiful days I’ve experienced here. To see these people faces that have worked so hard and given so much to make this happen, and finally it did. They had some beautiful music and the baraguay Captain made a speech. Rick and Kim cut the ribbon. After the ceremony we headed back here for naps and this evening we went to caticlan to get some time put on our internet card and have pizza. Our local internet is down so we have this smart card thing we use for now. Pizza has become our Sunday night tradition and I love it because the owners know us and it opens doors to share the gospel more and more.

Our days are long and exhausting, but worth every minute. The kids and I are really picking up the language pretty quickly and Sam jabbers stuff all the time so I’m sure he’s getting it too. James is learning but he is afraid to mess up or sound funny so he’s shy. We can sure see God using us here and it’s the most humbling thing I’ve ever known. I don’t feel like we are even denting the surface of all the needs but we just go where we are lead and serve. Thank you so much for your continued prayers. This week was a physically attacked week and not just for us. My family at home has had their share of issues too. But we serve a risen savior; He’s in the world today. I know that He is living whatever men may say. I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer, and just the time I need Him He’s always near. He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today. HE walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way. He lives, He lives, salvation to impart. You ask me how I know He lives, He lives within my heart. Take that satan, you lose!!!

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